‘Your fingers are all made of the same substance. They are made up of similar tissues, cells, atoms, and at the deepest level, subatomic particles. Similarly, when your experience of reality becomes more subtle, you discover that everything is just different expressions of one field of nondual Being.’ – Nirmala
There are various degrees of mindfulness out there; most of which interweave mindful analysis and reflection of one’s life with pure presence through meditation practices such as repetitive work, yoga and silent Vipassana.
But there is one thread to the mindful patchwork that is becoming increasingly popular. That of Non-duality.
The word duality conjures the Buddhist theory of integration and the path that bridges two supposedly opposite factors, such as gender, race and religion and dissolves the apparent differences before your very eyes.
This is a place of complete non-judgment, where the practitioner takes their celebration of the present moment to extremes, shedding all knowledge of the law of attraction, past life theory, any healing technique they have ever experienced, and perhaps most importantly, their spiritual path up to this moment.
As James Eaton explains, we will never know if these things are true, so why bother yourself with the idea of them?
Dropping, dropping, constantly letting each moment drop away in strict-honouring-presence can be daunting for some – especially in such an ego-centric society – yet for many, especially the traumatized, it may offer the only way out. No matter how much analysis, therapy and alternative therapies you undergo, at the end of the day this level of presence found through meditation is the thing that’s going to help you move forward, if only to help you cut the cord between forward and back.
As Gautama Buddha taught it, egolessness is born out of the raw and unadulterated moment. Non-duality is the path to egolessness.
Duality causes suffering, or grasping as the Tibetan Book of the Dead names it, and it is only when we let go of a dualistic mindset that we might hope to glimpse an experience of God; the Now. If humans’ flaw is desire, then the only road to overcoming it is to completely shut off all past and future longing.
Eckhart Tolle offers us a path to enjoy The Power of Now through an understanding of non-duality.
“What appears to us as space in our universe perceived through the mind and the senses is the Unmanifested itself, externalized. It is the ‘body’ of God.”
So the ‘place’ of non-duality is actually all around us; it is the sounds of the wind through the trees, a dog barking in the distance… all wisdom advises us to open our ears to silence as that is where the answers lie. As Tolle points out, space has no existence because it doesn’t stand out.
Silence has no existence, and nor does the ‘Unmanifested’ as he puts it. And so, to invert our focus and redirect it from things that stand out, including the running narrative our minds feed us every second of the day, to the space in between those things – the non-dualistic space that has no label or ‘existence’ – then we will begin to have experiences of God and the beauty of the present moment.
The only way to experience non-duality is to expand. To switch your focus from the ego and the narrative, the thing that stands out, the internalized single point that is the ego, to the matrix of silence humming all around us. This is the advice given to those who have been traumatized and is the first thing we attempt during meditation is to ground yourself in the present moment by shifting your focus to the weight of your body, your breath and the sounds that you hear right now. And you will gradually become the observer.
You actually become that silence, the gaps in between things, the fabric of the universe. If you view life from a non-dualistic perspective then you have uncovered God’s hiding place.
One practise is to become so present that you question the knowing you have with yourself that you even possess a brain and internal organs. Have you ever actually seen them?
These kind of questions, though apparently inane, can cause trippy flickers in our perceptions and cause us to gain huge insight into the nature of presence. All these things we are taught and swallow, but how can we ever know for a fact they are true?
The moment it almost becomes too much is when you’re realizing that you have no knowing that your children are sleeping in the very next room.
You can’t see them, you have the memory that you put them to bed and that you even have children, but if they’re not before your eyes, if they’re simply part of the narrative in your mind then how can you know for sure? In a place of non-duality, reality becomes ever so much more fun. If not a little scary.
Another method is to do what scares you to the max. If connection scares you, try looking into other people’s eyes and don’t let yourself look away. Let the dualistic layers peel away and you will encounter your fears in their purest form.
In fifteen minutes, if done honestly you could uncover your deepest fears and bring them to the surface. This is healing in its most intense form! It’s addictive, and sometimes so much more rewarding than sitting in silence or participating in more traditional forms of meditation.
Non-duality can also give a nod in the right direction to higher vibrations when it comes to bending the law of attraction. This materialistic fad has almost become a dirty word (or, to be precise, three dirty words) in the spiritual community. And perhaps it is when you’re using it to get filthy rich.
Perhaps the true art of honouring the law of attraction is to recognize the energy you’re pumping out, recognize the form of the energy of what you want to attract, then dissolve the two and let your higher self decide.
If our higher selves are part of the Unmanifested to use Tolle’s term, then it is a part of the innate wisdom of the universe and therefore ‘knows’ so much more than our rabbit racing minds running in circles.
To give it to God, we have no end goal in sight but simply chose how we play the present moment by changing our energy.
The present moment is not the interchangeable thing we need to concern ourselves with, but how much we enjoyed it. The present moment is a place of non-duality. We only have to remember to find it.
a time to live
and a time to die
but never to reject the moment.” – Lao Tzu